Khadija Ismayil’s November 25 hearing began with what has become by now a tradition of changing courtrooms- attendants of the hearing are first invited to be seated in one courtroom but suddenly they are informed the rooms were changed. Often this change takes place once Khadija is placed inside the glass cage at another courtroom in order to avoid her speaking to the attendants of the hearing.
This also keeps happening to Leyla Yunus, most likely because the rights defender attempted informing the journalists in the audience of the torture inside the prison a few times before the hearings.
The process began with Khadija’s lawyer, Fariz Namazli's request to have the defendant sit next to him. The presiding judge Ilgar Murguzov declined the motion.
The judge on several occasions muted Khadija’s voice during her statements.
“Holding the court of appeal without an investigation into the conduct is not right”, said Fariz Namazli in his statement. Namazli raised a number of facts and evidence, none of which was taken into the account as well as more the 30 motions which too mostly were not accepted throughout the trial. “This is why we are asking the court to reconsider our request to carry out the hearing following an investigation into the conduct”.
Namazli recited the charges against Khadija and reminded the court room once again of their baseless nature. “According to the charges, Khadija is accused of misappropriation by signing service contract agreements with AzadliqRadiosu staff so that she can appropriate the 4% difference in taxes. We have requested the Baku Grave Crimes Court to invite these individuals for questions. But the court refused to do so. And in addition nowhere in proceedings there is evidence-proving existence of these individuals. So how come she is still charged with misappropriation? And the only two contracts that actually do exist do not bear Ismayil’s signature.
On the question of abuse of power- we have repeated over and over again that being the head of the representative office in Azerbaijan is completely different from being the Baku bureau chief. Khadija Ismayil was never the head of the representative office. Therefore, she never had the authority to hire people. And this is why this charge too has nothing to do with Khadija Ismayil.
The charge accusing Ismayil of illegal business is too unsubstantiated. Because the expiration of the official license granted to AzadliqRadiosu has nothing to do with Khadija. As for Khadija Ismayil not having an accreditation- at the time of her work, there was no such law demanding accreditation.
The same goes for tax evasion charges- this charge can only be given to the individuals in official positions. Khadija never was in such a position.
Because all of the carges are illegal, baselss and unjust we demand acquittal”, said Namazli.
After Ismayil’s lawyers all spoke, Khadija was given an opportunity to speak only to be muted again by the judge. “I understand that you judges have no stamina to hear words of freedom. While all TV channels in the country are silenced, you have acquired a “button” which you too are using to “turn off” [my voice]. The state of affairs in this country is such that everyone has some kind of a “button” in their hands, which they use to “turn off” [the voices of others]”.
The judge muted Khadija yet again asking her to speak on the matter. “As the court committee even if you really were unbiased and just, you would have still failed to make a just decision because of the protocols in your hands, as they are all fake. You had to question additional people, but you did not.
But it was your decision to fine me in the amount of 364AZN which is bothering me the most. Even though I was acquitted for the charges of “attempt to suicide” article 125, this amount remains in force”, said Khadija but the judge did not let her finish muting the microphone inside the glass cage. But Khadija remains determined and shortly after she adds, “You have way pass the age of pushing “buttons”.
Despite the repeated evidence, motions and Khadija Ismayil’s own statements, the court ruled to keep Khadija in jail and dismissed the appeal.